Luca Harvie, co-author of My Daughter, My Son, is living his life as the male he always has been, but fears workplace discrimination and transphobia if his employer or co-workers were to learn of his transgender identity.

Luca Harvie is a transgender man who began his transition from female-to-male as a teenager. Luca and his mother, Betsie, published a book "My Daughter, My Son" to share their experience with transitioning as an adolescent and overcoming bullying from Luca's classmates and therapists. Coming out to his mother at the age of 13, Luca has spent majority of his life as male. Most people know Luca as a man and do not know that he was one female. Living a life as a stealth male.

According to TransChristians.com, a transgender person is stealth when they are able "to live completely as their gender identity and to pass in the public sphere.  Most people are unaware of their transgender status."

Luca's gender identity can affect his career trajectory and employment. His concerns stem from examples of employers discriminating against employees or potential employees. In 2006, Izza Lopez was offered a position with River Oaks Imaging and Diagnostic and was subsequently denied the position because of "misrepresentation of herself as a woman."

Untitled-Infographic-1Recently, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suits against a family-run funeral home in Detroit and a health care firm in Lakeland, Florida for violations of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The two women, Amiee Stephens and an unidentified woman, were fired from their positions after informing their employers about their transgender identity and their plan to transition from male to female.

Newsweek reported on December 10th that "in surveys over the last several years, as many as 43 percent of gay and transgender workers reported experiencing some form of discrimination in the workplace.  And more than a quarter of transgender people report being fired from their job simply because they were transgender."
In many states, there are not many protections for transgender employees. Utah is a state where there are not statewide protections for transgender employees. It is up to cities and counties to determine if transgender employees are protected by non-discrimination. According to Equality Utah, "transgender Utahns and transgender people of color are among the most vulnerable member of [the] community, and face extreme levels of discrimination at every turn."

Matthew Bailey seconds Equality Utah's vulnerability of transgender people in the workplace in his Law & Psychology Review publication, "TRANSGENDER WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION IN THE AGE OF GENDER DYSPHORIA AND ENDA." The publication explains the need for workplace non-discrimination policies for transgender employees, which is the purpose of Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

 

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